By: Joanne Natale Spigonardo
February 14, 2022
The origins of Valentine’s Day come from the beautiful city of Terni. Terni is located in the northern part of Umbria, in the region of Perugia. Like the rest of Italy, it has a wealth of history and antiquity. It is the birthplace of Saint Valentine. He was born in 226 AD and was martyred in Rome in 269 AD. He is buried in the Basilica di San Valentino, in Terni.
Saint Valentine was a bishop who performed clandestine marriages for Christians who were being persecuted. He also helped Christians escape from prison. He is known as the saint of love for this reason, and his love of love led to his own death. Many couples go to Terni to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but it is also a day that many Italians get engaged and has become a tradition for couples globally.
In Italy, Valentine’s Day is for lovers, you send a Valentine to your boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, and spouse. It is not a tradition to send general Valentine’s to everyone. Normally, an Italian Valentine’s Day will include a romantic dinner, wine, chocolates, and beautiful flowers, and usually roses. Roses were identified with the Greek and Roman Goddess of love, Aphrodite. The red rose is the symbol of love for that reason. Other origins of Valentine’s Day also date back to the fertility festival in Roman times, called Lupercalia.
The Feast of Saint Valentine’s Day was first celebrated in the 5th Century on February 14 and has remained as the date to celebrate Saint Valentine and love. In Terni, Valentine’s Day is celebrated with beautiful parades and festivals. Many flock to see the remains of Saint Valentine, in the Basilica di San Valentino, and hope for a special blessing from him to have their love last. Terni, also has a Marathon race on Valentine’s Day where runners wear love laden regalia with hearts and flowers and dedicate the race to their lover. Terni has beautiful street fairs with cicollattini bancarelle – which means – chocolate vendor stalls that sell magnificent chocolates that are in all shapes and many of them are life sized symbols of love. Hope you will put Terni on your bucket list for a special Valentine’s Day in the future.
About the Author:
Joanne has many years of experience in travel to Italy, Italian art, literature, film, history, wine, and cuisine. She is a lover of nature and beauty. She is an advocate for Italian immigrant women, and the author of White Widow, which is available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/White-Widow-Joanne-Natale-Spigonardo/dp/B085DT65DB. For more information about Joanne please visit her LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanne-spigonardo-b4824a9/.